Eugene, OR – The Oregon women opened the basketball season with a visit from a Northwestern team that went 17-12 last season. The Big Ten Wildcats were no competition for the Ducks. Oregon scored the first nine points of the game, extended the lead to 17-3 and ran away from Northwestern in a 100-57 victory. Oregon played a ten-person rotation featuring 6-2 freshman Grace VanSlooten and 5-9 Chance Gray in the starting lineup.
VanSlooten was the most impressive newcomer for Oregon, leading the team in scoring with 20 points. She connected on 10-of-16 shots from the field, mostly on shots inside or on short jumpers. Jennah Isai, a 5-11 freshmen forward, added 17 points on 2-of-5 from deep and 9-of-10 from the foul stripe. 6-8 center Phillipina Kyei added eight points and eight rebounds. Returning guards Te-Hina Paopao (15 points) and Endyia Rogers (9 points) both played effectively. Rogers registered eight assists against only one turnover while Paopao added six rebounds, three assists and no turnovers. Freshman Gray added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists (one turnover) while Taya Hanson, a transfer from Arizona State added nine points on 3-of-5 from deep. Caileigh Walsh led the Wildcats with 15 pints and six rebounds.
The Ducks forced 21 Wildcat turnovers and had a 29-6 edge in points off turnovers. Oregon dominated in points in the paint with a 52-24 advantage and shared the ball well with 22 assists on 36 made baskets.
Oregon ran from the start, leading 21-7 after the first quarter and 50-27 at the half. At halftime they had a 30-12 edge in points in the paint, 7-0 in fastbreak points and an 8-1 advantage in steals. VanSlooten was active inside, hitting 6-of-8 shots and scoring 12 points. Kyei, getting additional minutes due to Sedona Prince being out for the season, added eight points on 4-of-5 shots inside. Walsh, a 6-3 sophomore, was the lone bright spot for the Wildcats, scoring 12 points, hitting 2-of-4 from deep.
The Wildcats were slightly more competitive in the second half, but the Ducks still extended their lead to 74-43 after the third quarter. VanSlooten added another six points in the stanza while Isai added nine points, hitting both her three-point attempts. The Ducks coasted and extended their lead in the fourth quarter in the 43-point opening game win.
Next up for Oregon is a home game against Seattle at 11am Saturday morning, giving fans enough time to get to the Oregon-Washington football game.